Clock-blocked: Raptors Lose Another to Kings in Game Decided by Buzzer
SACRAMENTO — Well, that’s a new way to lose one.
Just when it looked like the Raptors snakebite history in this California capital might be turning, replay officials back in Secaucus, N.J. overturned what looked like a game-tying three at the buzzer off the hands of Terrence Ross which would have forced overtime.
It wound up gifting the Sacramento Kings a 102-99 win.
Game officials went to the monitors as soon as Ross’ shot found the bottom of the net and then to the phones with the officials back in the replay centre as the two teams started preparing for overtime.
Replays on the arena Video board showed Ross clearly getting the shot off with .5 seconds left, but the longer that conversation between lead game official Mike Callahan and the replay officials lasted, the more curious it got.
When Callahan eventually put the phone down after the lengthy conversation and waved the basket off, an incredulous Dwane Casey made a beeline for Callahan demanding an explanation.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey irate after Terrence Ross’s game-tying buzzer-beater waved off on video review as Kings sweep season series pic.twitter.com/NlnulNGw8K
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) November 21, 2016
“His explanation was that it was a clock malfunction,” Casey said. “I’ve been coaching 30-some years, 37 years, college and pros, if it’s in dispute let’s play five more.”
When DeMarre Carroll inbounded the ball, the ruling was the clock did not start when it deflected off DeMarcus Cousins’ hand as it should have. But even if that’s the case, there is still the matter of the .5 seconds left on the clock when Ross let the shot go.
Regardless it was one unhappy group of Raptors that were making their way to Los Angeles late last night.
Via a pool reporter, crew chief Callahan said the replay revealed there was 2.5 seconds from the time Cousins tipped the ball to when Ross made the shot. There was 2.4 seconds left on the clock when the play began but the arena clock was not started when Cousins tipped it.
TERRENCE ROSS, TOO CLUTCH!!!! https://t.co/kbFGqE85HB
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) November 21, 2016
Even when Callahan walked away from Casey after the game, the Raptors’ coach wasn’t satisfied with the explanation and went looking for more from the other two officials on the floor. When they turned their backs on him and left the court, Casey slammed the clipboard onto the hardwood and stormed off himself.
After watching replays back in his coach’s office and then meeting with the media 10 minutes after that, he was still looking for answers.
“I’ve got to hear another explanation better than that because we reviewed it about 10 times in there and even if the clock started once DeMarcus Cousins deflected it, Terrence Ross caught it, shot it with point-whatever it was, with plenty of time,” Casey said. “I don’t know where the malfunction came, I’ve got to hear more than that because I just watched the same review that they had.”
Casey was asked point blank if he felt he had one stolen from him.
“You make your bed but hopefully you have a rightful ending, the way you earned it,” Casey said. “The guys executed the end-of-game play to perfection, guy made a shot, you would think that would count.”
It was unclear at press time exactly what the Raptors appeal to the league would be, but you can be pretty certain the organization is going to want some sort of official explanation.
In the locker room the Raptors were in no mood to discuss the game-altering call that went against them.
Kyle Lowry responded “No comment” to the first two questions asked of him. When a third one was asked he informed the surrounding media that he was going to save his money and again responded “No comment.”
DeMar DeRozan just waved off a request to talk.
The loss was No. 17 in 20 games played here in Sacramento but the first at the new Golden 1 Center arena that the Kings opened this year.
For at least the past five years the Raptors have come into this city with the better team on paper yet can’t seem to find the solution to the Kings.
For the second time this season it was former Raptor Rudy Gay leading the charge against his one-time teammates with 23 points on a very efficient 9-for13 shooting night.
Cousins got into some early foul trouble but he too chipped in with 19 points and 10 boards.
The Kings also got double-digit scoring contributions from Darren Collison and Aaron Afflalo.
There really is no explaining Sacramento’s dominance over Toronto when they play at home.
Home court does not explain a 3-17 record, but that is what the Raptors have here in a market where the team hasn’t been competitive for more than a dozen years.
Toronto didn’t help themselves on this particular occasion turning the ball over nine times in the second half alone leading to 14 points.
Casey freely admitted this was not the perfect game by his charges, but he remained adamant that they had at least earned the chance of five more minutes with the Ross basket that was eventually ruled no good.
Still the Raptors had a handful of chances to either win this one or force overtime but couldn’t buy a bucket down the stretch.
Somewhat hamstrung for the final push was Kyle Lowry who wound up picking up his fifth foul with eight minutes to go in the third taking a key cog out of the Raptors lineup for some crucial minutes as the two teams jockeyed back and forth.
Lowry returned for the final five minutes with those five fouls and was on the court for the Ross make that wasn’t.